For many researchers, the new categorical imperative by philosopher Theodor Adorno about thinking and acting in the way so that Auschwitz is never repeated, has become the new starting point for rethinking the rules of practicing the humanities. In the article, I present the postwar history of Jewish thought that has been manifested in the discourse about the Shoah.
A note by A. Chernevski in the 1877 Shakhmatny Listok described two chess variants played in Samarkand, present-day Uzbekistan. One, the “Bukharan game”, is a slightly modified version of shatranj, similar to Rumi chess as described in Murray’s History of Chess. The other, the “Persian game with a queen” resembles to some extent the Persian chess described in 1846 in the Chess Player’s Chronicle but differs from it in several important aspects. Chernevski’s information, which includes recorded games by native players, is absent from later sources on chess history. A summary of Chernevski’s report is provided, with a discussion of several other historical chess variants, and various errors that have crept into their description in the literature.
The article investigates Renaissance naturalists’ views on the links between plants and places where they grow. It looks at the Renaissance culture of botanical excursions and observation of plants in their natural environment and analyses the methods Renaissance naturalists used to describe relations between plants and their habitat, the influence of location on plants’ substantial and accidental characteristics, and in defining species. I worked mostly with printed sixteenth-century botanical sources and paid special attention to the work of Italian naturalist Giambattista Della Porta (1535–1615), whose thoughts on the relationship between plants and places are original, yet little known.
The paper discusses selected maps of rock strata which exemplify the evolution stages of presentation methods of cartographic data concerning the geological structure of selected countries (France, Great Britain and Germany) which in the first half of the nineteenth century constituted the leaders of the field. The results of geologists’ work are used to present the content of maps, provide explanations and showcase the methods and techniques chosen by the maps’ creators. The analysed maps are accompanied by geological writings which contain descriptions of the chronological order within rock formations and strata defined on the basis of fossils, methods of recreating the geological history of individual regions, and attempts of compiling the acquired knowledge and using it to describe larger areas. The author discusses also two maps of Europe published in the mid-nineteenth century, which are the result of cooperation and research achievements of geologists from different countries.
This paper deals with the problem of shaping landscape. The examples of towns of Great Poland from the 13th century were implemented and used. Their layout was not accidental. Towns were created with a substantial dose of accuracy. A market square was precisely laid out; roads were turned straight to the nearby towns, and plots were created for townsmen. It tended to be the final product of human thought and idea. The comparison of towns’ sizes shows that the same measures and similar schemes were used. In a medieval town each and every aspect was carefully planned and wellthought- out, but sometimes it was modified due to the terrain. Subsequent generations interpreted landscape on their own and occasionally changed the layout of a town. The contemporary appearance of towns is a product of thought materialisation in the living space. That is why the landscape of towns can be analysed and read.
Relocating the capital of Kazakhstan from Almaty to Akmola (then renamed Astana) in 1997 has been the subject of an intense debate, particularly within media. The process of creating the new capital of Kazakhstan should consider the broader perspective of historical, political and ideological, social, climatic and geographical factors, and finally to put the matter in terms of architecture and urban planning. The author considers this very broad perspective, finally expressing the hope that the project of “the city of the future” analyzed in the article, will become a permanent part of the Kazakh reality.
A large chess variant played on a 12x12 board was inadvertently created by G. H. Verney, author of Chess Eccentricities, who seriously misinterpreted one of his sources, A. van der Linde’s Quellenstudien zur Geschichte des Schachspiels. Despite its serendipitous origins, the game, for which the name Verney’s Duodecimal Chess seems appropriate, is surprisingly playable. A set of rules is suggested since those provided by Verney are incomplete.
This paper provides an overview of two text analytic projects on the Aberdeen burgh records, which are legal records of the city of Aberdeen, Scotland. These records contain detailed information about a range of activities in the city and their legal treatment. The projects cover the periods 1398–1511 (Law in the Aberdeen Council Registers project – LACR) and 1530–1531 (A Text Analytic Approach to Rural and Urban Legal Histories project – TAHL). The completed TAHL project annotated a selected corpus with rich semantic information for the purpose of facilitating historical research by querying and extracting data from across the corpus. The LACR project, which is ongoing, focuses on transcribing the first eight volumes of the Aberdeen burgh records (1398–1511) into the Text Encoding Initiative’s standard, thus making the text machinereadable. This project lays the foundation for further analysis and enrichment of the corpus.
My Ph.D research project aims at writing the history of the Portuguese National Institute for Scientific Research (Instituto Nacional de Investigação Científica, INIC) (1976-92). Although INIC is an important institutional actor in the development of the Portuguese scientific system, it has been mostly absent from the history of the Portuguese institutions of science policy. INIC was founded after the Carnation Revolution of 25 April 1974 in a context in which institutional coordination of scientific research had already become a priority. The political instability of the post-revolutionary period, together with the expansion of the scientific system, resulted in institutional tensions and conflicts involving the scientific community, the higher education community, and other institutions tangent to INIC, that led to its extinction in 1992. Based on INIC’s archive and complemented by secondary sources and interviews, this project proposes to bring this institution into the historical narrative of the Portuguese institutions of science policy.
This article can be read as an Editorial for the first issue of the Journal of Catalan Intellectual History (JOCIH) in its new stage at de Gruyter Open. It offers, first, a methodical review of the concept, roles, and trends of intellectual history in the 20th century. Next, it looks into the particular Catalan tradition, historiography, and cultural analysis to position the aim and the role of the Journal with regard to similar initiatives. It tries to give an answer to the crisis of intellectual history as a discipline, at the end of the past century. The third part of the article describes some of the available resources. The fourth section introduces the contents of the present issue, focussing on the construction of a collective identity and the literary engagement of Catalan writers between 1920 and 1980, either in their country or in exile. The Notes of the present issue highlight the importance of technology, natural language processing, and Semantic Web developments in carrying out contemporary research in this field.